An Open Letter to the new “President-Elect”

19 Dec

Dear Donald,

Well, you did it. Congratulations.

You lied, cheated, bullied, swindled, and stole your way to the White House. Despite your utter lack of experience, empathy, decorum, and knowledge, you’re now the most powerful man on Earth. We tried everything we could to stop you, but it seems we failed. Come January, you’ll be in charge.

But if you think that now you’re safe, that now your legacy is assured, that now the world is in your hands with no opposition… you’re an even bigger fool than we ever thought.

We are still the millions of people who opposed you, and will oppose you.

We are still the people that you hurt, cheated, assaulted, and spit upon because of who we are, where we come from, who we love, and what we believe, and we will not forget.

We are many. We are strong.

We are all tired from the fight, but we will not rest.

We are the downtrodden, but we will not be trampled.

We are the quiet, but you will hear us roar.

We are the oppressed, but you will know our pain.

We are the poor, but you will know that we have riches you cannot comprehend.

We are the different, but in our combined diversity we will be stronger than you.

The office is yours, for now, but the country is not.

In ancient Rome, there were men who stood behind the Emperors and whispered the words “Memento mori” in their ears. It means “Remember, you will die.” No matter what you think of yourself, you are not a god. You are human, and despite all your money, power, fame, and sex, underneath you are as tenuous and fragile and small as all the rest of us. We will be that voice standing behind you and whispering “Memento mori”, until the day that all you’ve done catches up with you and you come crashing down. It may take weeks or months or years, but that day will come, and you will fall.

We will be watching you fall, but don’t expect us to be there to catch you when it happens.

For our future,

An American citizen
12/19/2016

The Sad Story of Ronald Frump

3 Dec

Once upon a time, there lived a sad little boy named Ronald Frump.

Ronald Frump should have been happy, but for some reason, he wasn’t, and he often wondered why.

Ronald Frump was born into a wealthy family which never wanted for anything. Ronald Frump’s daddy was a powerful wizard who dressed in white robes and a pointy hat, who impressed everyone with his ability to magically set black things on fire. Ronald Frump wanted to be just like his daddy, but he didn’t know how, and that made him sad.

As Ronald Frump grew up, he tried many things to make himself happy.

Ronald Frump used his daddy’s wizard gold to have many castles built for himself, but that didn’t work. Eventually, the castles all fell apart.

Ronald Frump tried to be friends with the many pretty cats that came and went around his castles, but that didn’t work: Ronald Frump would grab the pretty cats without asking them first, and this would make them very upset. Especially the kittens.

Ronald Frump tried to make a school where people could learn to be like him. He called it Frump University, or FU, but the people who were interested in learning weren’t as smart as he was, Ronald Frump thought. He took their gold and ran away, but it didn’t make him happy.

Ronald Frump even tried to be a star, but though he shone as hard as he could, everyone laughed at him.

Poor Ronald Frump.

Time passed, and Ronald Frump grew from a sad little boy into a sad little old man. All the cats and castles and gold could not make him happy.

Ronald Frump tried to make himself happy by learning his daddy’s wizard magic, but he had no talent for it. All he could do was use his gold to command people to set black things on fire for him. Ronald Frump seemed to really hate black things. And brown things. And anything else that was the wrong color. I wonder why?

One day, Ronald Frump saw something that he was sure would make him happy: a big white house at the top of the world! All of his gold and all of his castles couldn’t compare to owning a big white house at the top of the world. Ronald Frump wanted it badly.

So Ronald Frump tried to buy the big white house at the top of the world.

When he was told that it wasn’t for sale, Ronald Frump threw tantrums to anyone who would hear, screaming about how white was his favorite color and he deserved it.

Ronald Frump’s tantrums were very funny. People came from miles around to see his funny orange face turn red. They were so funny that nobody thought very much about what Ronald Frump was saying.

Time passed. Ronald Frump was as patient as he could be, and for a while it looked like the big white house at the top of the world would never be his, but in the end, he bought that big white house at the top of the world after all.

But for some reason, Ronald Frump still wasn’t happy.

Ronald Frump didn’t realize that even with his gold, and his cats, and the big white house of his dreams, deep down he was still the sad little boy he had always been.

Ronald Frump didn’t realize that owning the big white house at the top of the world was hard work. Everyone below could see him up there and watch his every move, waiting for him to slip and fall off the edge.

Poor Ronald Frump.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Sometimes getting everything you want will not make you happy in the end.

THE SECOND MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t be a sad little boy like Ronald Frump.

I Contain Multitudes

24 Sep

(originally posted on DA)

This post will be a bit unusual. Not a rant, per se, but for a similar purpose. It will contain some details that might come across as uncomfortably personal, though.

Outside of my Blogress Reports, I tend to try not to talk about myself on the Internet a lot. I don’t like the idea of being one of those people who blogs or tweets their every random thought… partly because I prefer to keep certain things about myself and my thought process private, partly because I often doubt my random thoughts would be of interest to even the most bored readers.

It’s a paradox, then, the Internet is the primary outlet for my social life these days, the place where I feel I can most truly be myself and most clearly articulate my thoughts and feelings. As you readers may or may not be aware or have guessed, I’m on the autistic spectrum (specifically, I’ve been diagnosed with Asperger’s, though that’s no longer considered a separate thing from ASD). I have trouble with anxiety in social situations, even among groups of people I should comfortably fit in with, and I sometimes lack a conversational filter. Part of that is the genetics of ASD, and part of that is from growing up naturally shy, awkward, and introverted. Going out to a club or wild party has never been my idea of a good time; I’d much rather have a quiet dinner and conversation with a close friend.

However. The reason I don’t discuss my ASD much, online or in-person, is because I categorically refuse to be the kind of person that has their whole identity revolve around being neuro-atypical or what-have-you. I will not shout “I’m on the spectrum and I’m proud!” from the rooftops, or plaster logos for autism awareness all over my Facebook, or walk around wearing a shirt with a rainbow puzzle piece.

I am a person. I contain multitudes.

There are aspects of myself that I don’t talk about, or that aren’t apparent. There are layers to my personality that can’t be categorized easily. Not everything about me can be reduced to a series of checkmarks in little boxes.

For example. I detest the idea that I might come across as a weaboo, “weeb”, or wannabe Japanese. I love anime and manga, yes, and I’ve spent many years absorbing it, but I do not, nor have I ever, wanted to be Japanese. I love the culture, the language, the art, the philosophy, and the history of Japan, not just because Japan makes anime, but because I think understanding those things is key to understanding the art form. So no, I don’t wear a kimono in my downtime, I don’t exclusively eat ramen and yakisoba, I don’t try to talk to my friends in Japanese, and I hardly think Japan is the greatest country ever.

I have a sense of humor that isn’t always easily defined. I can get laughs out of sophisticated wordplay in a Shakespeare comedy, then turn around and crack up over a well-placed fart noise. To me, a well-crafted pun or a long, rambling, monologue-style joke is just as good for a chuckle as old-fashioned Three Stooges-style slapstick. In my opinion, the best kinds of comedy zoom from high to low and back again and everywhere in between, like Bo Burnham does, but I’ll rarely say no to something that sticks to one or the other.

I love cartoons and action figures, but I also love listening to melancholy music on rainy days while I compose poetry and ponder about what it all means. I appreciate both the driving, nonstop beat of early Crush 40 songs and the gentle notes of Bach’s cello concertos. I love Star Trek and Star Wars and Doctor Who and Firefly (and Farscape, which has recently jumped higher on my list). On the anime side of things, my favorites include both Lucky Star, a laid-back slice-of-life comedy set in the real world, and Evangelion, a famously hard-to-understand mind screw sci-fi deconstruction of the mecha genre. I love both South Park, which is about as offensive as it gets, and Steven Universe, which is gentle and kind and understanding in a way that never ceases to astonish me. I like both Batman and Superman (when they’re written right) and one of the reasons I so favor Marvel movies over the current DC ones is because Marvel’s are made by people who love, respect, and understand the universes and characters they’re working with.

So much of life these days is polarized. People say you have to be one thing or the other, and refuse to acknowledge that lines are often blurred. Even stuff like the previous sentence can be twisted into an us vs. them, black vs. white argument that can ignite months or years of flamewars. You have to be firm and take a stance on some things, yes, (see my documented feelings on Orange Muppet Hitler [thank you, Joss] and his ilk), but on others it’s perfectly all right to be gray.

I contain multitudes. We contain multitudes.

I don’t think that as people we can ever really understand the sum total of another person, no matter how well-documented their life is. Human beings are so many things: flawed, often nonsensical, contradictory, prone to anger and violence, but also capable of great beauty, wisdom, and acts of kindness. The world isn’t a happy place where everyone gets along and no one is sad or upset ever, but nor is it a festering crapsack run by lunatics and about to explode.

Maybe I’m just talking to myself, or maybe someone out there reading this is nodding and thinking “Yes, that’s right. BHS has got it right.” I don’t know. I’m a neuro-atypical young adult millennial American in the late-mid-10s, staring at the craziness of the world and trying to make sense of it all, what do I know?

All I really know is, I’m complicated. It’s all complicated. Not everything fits in a neat little box. I think we all need time to think it over.

– BHS

Spirited Debate

17 Mar

“Oh yes,” said the congresswoman, stepping forward and cracking her knuckles. “I love a good old-fashioned debate.” So she stepped into the fray with her opponent, and delivered a short, sharp opening statement to his jaw.

The senator seemed unfazed, launching right into his first argument, which slammed her first in the face, then in the stomach, and finished with overhand, ham-fisted rhetoric to her back.

Rhetoric it was, but he did have a point. The congresswoman’s retort was swift; she drove her counterpoint home with a painful rebuttal between his legs. An alternate proposal followed, which swept the senator off his feet. While her opponent was down, the congresswoman pounced upon him, seizing an opening. Her arguments pummeled him mercilessly… every defense he made crumbled under the force of her logic, and she dodged around his every attempt to get a word in edgewise.

Time to finish it. The congresswoman pulled back, took a deep breath, and brought the point home for her closing. The senator’s nose yielded the floor as he withdrew from the debate entirely, conceding to her wisdom by virtue of losing consciousness rather than furthering logical discussion.

The congresswoman smiled with triumph. “See?” she said. “And you thought debates were boring.”

Aside

We Cannot, Must Not Give Up

14 Nov 2000px-Civil_and_Naval_Ensign_of_France.svg

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Today, the world grieves.

Once again, we’ve seen the actions of a monstrous few harm countless innocent lives. People are outraged, heartbroken, and angry, and rightly so. So am I. So is anyone with a conscience.

It’s days like yesterday that threaten two of my core beliefs: that there is hope for the future, and that humanity, for all its flaws and savagery, is essentially good at heart. It’s days like today when the hardest thing in the world is to hold on to those beliefs, in the face of overwhelming opposition.

But I will hold on to them. I cannot, must not give up, My faith in humanity is shaken, yes, but not broken.

Continue reading

Neo-Millennialism: A Treatise

11 Sep

Reposted from The Daily Kos.

NEO-MILLENNIALISM: A TREATISE

I stopped being a Christian around ten years ago.

This wasn’t a decision that came easily. I was raised as a devout Episcopalian, and my father was a minister and chaplain for over thirty years. Both he and my mother graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary, and from a very young age they gave me a Christian Protestant upbringing.

However, at a certain age I began questioning: what makes one religion any more real or authentic than others? Didn’t the ancient Greeks worship Zeus as a god? What made that mythology and the Bible truth?

In my twenties, my faith wavered as I learned of all the horrors committed in the name of not just the Christian God, but all of them. Every brand of religion has been used to justify oppression, murder, slavery, poverty, genocide, or some combination of the above at one time or another. My twenties also saw me despairing as the Neoconservatives rose to power, and began using my God as justification to wage endless war on anyone who wasn’t white, male, rich, straight, right-wing, and Christian. The horrors of the Aughts and beyond shattered my faith in any sort of God that would allow such perversion of his words. I became an Agnostic, and after several months I confronted my father with my feelings. It took him a while, but he accepted my decision.

The problem still eats at me, though: religious extremism is tearing the planet apart, and there seems no way to fight back. How can you win against someone who claims to have God on their side? How can you win against the kind of blind, stubborn, willfully ignorant faith that claims that treating other people like shit is a divine right?

Maybe there is no rational answer.

So maybe it’s time for an irrational one.

Maybe it’s time to fight fire with fire.

Continue reading

How to Succeed in Minimalist Poetry

25 Aug

Be brief.

Less (A Minimalist Poem)

25 Aug

You’re less

Than I remember

Can’t See You (A Minimalist Poem)

14 Jul

I can’t see you

Anymore

Regret (A Minimalist Poem)

10 May

I loved you,

You didn’t.